Oh my goodness. I cannot believe it – the horse shows are once again open to spectators! Can I just say how happy I am about this? Cue my happy dance….
This has been several years in the making. First, my favorite show grounds to spectate at were closed down 2 years ago. That mad me so sad, I cannot even describe. I even wrote a blog post about it, and someone told me to stop spreading false news. Hmmmm….false news? I think not. Because the people that did own the Colorado Horse Park sold it, nd the horse shows went away for a full year.
And then the pandemic happened. Making it impossible for me to get to a show unless I was the one showing. Well, that wasn’t going to happen. So once again, no horse show spectating.
However, now it looks like we are back in business and the show grounds are open! I am so excited! FINALLY life is getting back to normal. All of the things we once were able to do, we are able to do again.
Spectating At The Horse Show
I love going to the show grounds and watching. Walking around, taking in all of the sites, watching all of the riders getting ready, and seeing the looks on their faces is just incredible for me. I love to people watch at the horse show. And walking around the show grounds, I might actually end up buying a thing or two when I go check out where the vendors set up. This is how I ended up buying a Voltaire Hunter girth, which is awesome by the way.
Yes, searching out all areas of the horse show helps me to find some great vantage points for taking pictures, along with seeing things many might not see. I really pay attention to everything I see when I am on the show grounds.
I try to pay attention to the little details, because this is when I can capture some fantastic shots.
And just a heads up, in my post I do have affiliate links. This means if you visit a company through my link, I may receive a commission from your purchase. I do not put links in to ‘sell’ you anything. I do this because there has been many times where I wanted to learn more about a product, and there were no links! So I add links to the products I talk about, in case you want to find out more about that product.
And this year, I will finally be able to use my monster 70-200 lens I bought 2 years ago with the sole purpose of taking pictures of incredible equestrians and horses. And if you are spectating at a big horse show with the sole intention of taking some photos, you don’t have to use a set up like mine. But after doing this for years and years, and practicing taking photos of horses while the soar over jumps,
Or the rider finds the perfect take off spot
Or any fast paced shot
I have found what lens, and camera settings work for the moment, but again, that is always subject to change. It is definitely not easy. But at the same time, it’s not hard. It’s just about practicing, and taking shot
And then going through all of those photos to see what I really got.
My Learning Process of Taking Photos
When I first started going to horse shows, I was using my very first digital camera. It was a Kodak Easy Share Digital Point And Shoot Camera. And it had a whopping 6.1 megapixels. I was so impressed with having a digital camera! It was so cool!
This was over 15 years ago, but I can still remember how excited I was to be able to take pictures at a horse show. I even had a conversation with the official show photographer. I remember how nice he was to me, and how we talked about getting the shots. This was so nice of him to take the time, and stop to talk to me. I will never forget that.
Now the photos I took were pretty bad. They were blurry, and there were no manual settings on the camera. SO I was limited to the capability of my little camera.
But sadly, the lens got stuck, and I had to look for a replacement camera. So it was kind of a good thing, because my broken camera forced me into looking for a new camera.
And I didn’t want another camera like the one I had, but I thought that Kodak was amazing, so I stuck with that brand.
And I knew nothing about photography. I thought the next step up camera would be ‘the one’.
So I bought a Kodak EasyShare Z1012 10.1MP Digital Camera and I thought I was the bomb! This camera ‘looked’ like a real photographer camera. Or so I thought. My kids used to call it my granny camera. You can still buy it on Amazon for around $80.00!
But the pictures I was capturing still were more like snapshots. And if there was any movement at all, there was motion blur and I had no control over that.
Next I finally transitioned into the world of DSLR cameras. I didn’t have much money, but I saved up and bought my very first Nikon DSLR. I think I paid around $300.00 when I bought it. But you can find them now, complete with a lens for about $65.00. Not too bad for a dslr camera! And this is a wonderful first camera, especially if you are wanting to take better photos, like ones at a horse show!
Now if we come back to the present, I have completely updated my camera set up. I have graduated to a Nikon D800, and I have many different lenses to choose from.
If you want to see the difference with this camera, check out my blog post of when my husband and I went to Hawaii. Almost all of the photos on that post are taken with my D800. I love this camera. And I am super excited to put it to use at a live horse show.
Thankfully, I get to do just that tomorrow, when my friend Vickie will be participating in her very first show. I am so excited! Not only do I get to help her get ready for her classes, but I have the opportunity to get LOTS of photos of the show. SO excited!
How to Take Pictures At a Horse Show
If you want to take some pictures at a show, get out there and do it. Practice, practice, practice! Your photos may not be outstanding, but if you practice, you will get better. It’s just like horses, and riding. The more you practice, the better you will become.
If you don’t have a camera, I am willing to bet you have a cell phone. And if you have a cell phone, you have a camera! That camera on your cell phone is better than the cameras I started shooting with.
You can even put the Lightroom app on your phone, and edit the photos you take.
It’s so exciting how far camera and editing software have come in the past 15 years. It’s truly incredible!
And being able to capture some wonderful memories is so rewarding for me.
I love looking back through my photos. It takes me back to the moment. And it’s just awesome!
Let’s Take Some Horse Show Photos!
So even if you can’t show, you can still go to a show and take some pictures. It’s fun, and if you like photography, it just might ignite a new passion for you. It did for me.
I can still be a part of the horse show world, without being in the saddle. And for me, this brings me as much joy as being the rider!
If you have always wanted to take pictures at a horse show, I challenge you to go out and find a show that you can go to. Then go sit in the stands, and take some pictures! If you get really brave, look around for a better vantage point, and take some photos from there.
It’s a lot of fun, and it doesn’t cost you anything other than the gas to get to the show. And it will get you back out into the world, and enjoying being around people again!